About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween - to scare or not to scare?

Now I really don't scare easily.
But seeing what merchants want YOU buying for your pets IS scary.
Poor doggies or kitties.
Being squeezed into costumes just for fun - for the human!
And the choices are many.

Politically Apropos ;-)?
The devil made me do it!

For hockey fans may I suggest some of these:
Want to impress the 'Jones'? Buy at speciality stores for beaucoup $.

Or go to .99 c stores and get same thing at much less-who will know, except, of course your creditcard company :;).
San Jose Sharks Fan?

Temporarily (??) defunct Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

And of course, do not forget to be creative and think up - and buy - a costume for your self, that really, really shows how you feel about yourself, or rather see yourself when you gaze in the mirror after a sleepless,  or sleep filled night. One may cause great satisfaction with fulfilled dreams,
the other signs of dreadful nightmares.

Whichever way you lean, it will be a funny way.
To others, if not to you :-).

Batik Dyed Pink Hippy
So, here are several ideas that came to mind while musing in the spirit of Halloween:
Like "Dwelling in Nostalgia"- go PINK in bell bottoms and platinum blond wig -a great way to cover up grey hair ;-)!

The Fork and Knife Set

No Comment, necessary

Then at left we have the perfect one for a gourmet couple.

Followed by, IMO apropos in these time, right costume  ;-)!.

BIG Dark Force
Harlequin Death
But you want to really scare,
 then here are two that would,

and keep you anonymous, which so many of chers readers are :-.

The Legs have it-crow about it!

Now some want to show off perfect legs maybe?  Look to crow about them? :-)

For other attributes I leave it up to the owners' imagination - not wanting to post anything -ahem- controversial!!

Team Corona Look
And then there are some who feel more
comfortable by not sticking out. Those can go as this group ;-):

A Happy Frightfully Funny Halloween to You!
BOO to all!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Well, sure.

It's THAT close to Halloween
and the costumes were out at the game next to Jerseys of all sorts.

Kuemper's shut out win against the Admirals was a treat for sure.

Break it up, guys, the game's been won already
Of course the 4 goals by Coyle, Connelly, Coyle and Larsson helped.

And the penalty kill was all there during the two lonely penalties on Admirals' Bartley and Ekholm.
But so was the Admirals' through the 6 incurred by the Aeros.
Period one 2 goals, period two 0 goals, period three 2 goals.

The passing was more than passable most times, the speed was there, coordination was there.

Likes tonight other than scorers :-) ha ha ha!:
Phillips (fast, agile),
Rau, Kaempfer and Bagnall on defense;

Scandella making huge save:
Saved by Scandella

And if the scarcity of fights did not suit some fans...
 fight broken up quickly
well,  there was a brief one,          and here are some happy fans.
Happy Fight lovers

What more can a fan ask?

Of course, that THIS goal had been granted ..below
The goal that was NOT, after all
Many have same sentiments :-)
Well perhaps he/she would like to bid on this from the Historic Maple Leafs Garden auction, 
listed for $ 250, and already bid up to  $ 2550.00. 
Someones sure want this 
added to their hockey collection. 
Leafs dressing room toilet...what a rare bargain :-) ???!!. 
For more information on the historic auction 
visit www.frozenpond.com.. this item 103 above one finds on page 13 of the insert.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Serving up a frothy Rossini

HGO has out done itself with the production of Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers (L'Italiana en Algieri for you opera snobs out there). While, admittedly, the plot is absurd, even shallow, this comedy is made utterly palpable by Rossini's light and frothy music, further enhanced by the frenetic but oh, so funny, direction, staging and costumes, and choreography by the inimitable quartet of Font/Guillen/Faur/Dorca.

The singers are young, seemed to love their parts and this came across the footlights to the audience's delight who chuckled, even roared, their approval of the absurdity and froth perpetrated under the energetic baton of Maestro Carlo Rizzi. Acrobatics on and off stage... may have been the watchword for this lighthearted piece of opera gone wild.

Current opera studio members Lauren Snouffer-Elvira (light  clear soprano) and Carolyn Sproule-Zulma (mezzo with dark and light hues) were joined by former HGOStudio alumnus Daniel Belcher-Taddeo (bass with great sense of comic timing),  newcomer Daniela Barcellona as Isabella (rich mezzo), and Lawrence Brownley-Lindoro (High flying tenor), Patrick Carfizzi (whose rich deep voice was ideally suited to the absurdity of Mustafa, and Robert Pomakov as onehanded Haly.

From beginning to end this piece of  comic opera will surely turn into a sure fire success.

The pastel colors of sets and absurd costumes revealed on curtain raising sent the audience at this final dress rehearsal (by invitation only) into spasms of clapping. This reaction continued throughout the opera with gales of bravis and storms of applause for arias by duos, terzets, quartets, quintets, sextets and septets (all are Rossini special effects  ;-) which for brief moments allowed the singers to 'stand and deliver' the fiendish patter arias, and more, before breaking out again in frantic activity.

The excerpt is not from this HGO Production.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An 'arts have it' weekend

Houston Aeros show their mettle. After  2:2 and 2:1 losses they come back with two wins 5:3 and 5:2. Which is, all considered, not bad at all. Most goals were slapped in by the new Boyz with some help from a seasoned veteran or two (IF one can call a 23 -24 year old a veteran :-) ). 
And another game was on tonight!  Which, I just heard, was lost on a PP in overtime 4-5 to the Milwaukee Admirals. 
Well, two out of 3 is not bad, isn't it?

A game, we have missed again since we were in a garret in Paris :-), 
with starving Bohemians and a sick milliner in LA BOHEME at HGO!

Ambling through the MFAH's extensive 'Henry Ossawa Tanner' exhibit and then the 'American Made' exhibit (of Museum own oeuvres) of photos, sculptures, paintings, vases, lamps, furniture and much more, we were overwhelmed by the abundance of beautiful and exciting, but also mysterious art.


Notrte Dame
Especially some of Tanners' religious paintings seemed shrouded in the mists of mystery! 
Here Mary's Annunciation of the birth by the Angel represented by the luminous column of light to the left!

La Boheme needs little introduction:  
Katie Van Kooten=Mimi
The main characters are sung by a steely voiced Katie Van Kooten-Mimi, 
Dimitri Pittas, a powerhouse tenor, is her Rodolfo, with warm baritone Joshua Hopkins as Marcello, rich Bass-Baritone Michael Sumuel as Chaunard and South African deep bass Vulani Mlindi as Colline. Others in the cast: veteran Baritone Hector Vazques as Benoit and Alcindoro, as today's Einspringer for an ailing Robert Pomakov (Benoit). 
Evan Rogister conducted, John Caird directed. 
Houston Grand Opera Chorus and children chorus did  their usual great job. There was a chemistry on stage which translated well into the audience who seemed spell bound.. and at the end tears were observed rolling down some cheeks. Such is the power of  Puccini's music sung deeply felt.
The set was - shall we say - more or less traditional, the costumes were very turn of century; bustles and ruffles for the ladies, Stovepipe hats for gentlemen. And not too raggedy clothes for the bohemians ;-)!
What more can I say, 
Puccini's music interpreted as beautifully as was done by these young singers seemed utterly realistic.
Vulani Mlindi=Colline
Michael Sumuel
Dmitri Pittas=Rodolfo
Joshua Hopkins=Marcello
Heidi Stober=Musetta

Enjoy a bit of  Act 4 below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ads Ads who wants another Ad?

Hear this and sorrow. It will only be a little while before all sports go this route.
Like in Europe.

Jerseys will be so patched up with company logos players names, team name and players numbers will undecipherable... and referees will have great excuses to not to call penalties because they won't be able to decipher number or name.
Too droll wouldn't it be?

But on the other hand, let me posit this:
if owners and players share in advertising revenues why not fans who buy such jerseys?

Just think:
you buy a jersey which carries ads for, say. XX companies.

Companies which pay royalties to teams, owners and players for the privilege to spout their name as walking, skating, running, biking etc. ads.
Well, isn't it all about revenue sharing the NHL players are striking right now... to get a bigger slice of the $$$$$ pie? Isn't it?

Then, you buy one with the number of your favorite player,
you fill out proper ownership papers, then you hope that the team forwards this information to the companies; and the companies - in honoring their commitment to pay for these ads will send you a royalty check for every time you wear that jersey and thus advertise that company.
Sounds a winner, eh? Dream on!

But really you, the new wearer and walking advertiser for company X, ought to be entitled to get your $$ slice of that $$$$$ pie?

Small is beautiful..

According to this  Opera is alive and well again in San Antonio...in a small way.

And another items will fill space in our purses.
Well, I guess a microscope may be necessary to read the small prints, but since that is too unwieldy a jeweller's loupe will do and it Will fit into my purse. I do thank designers who are making bigger purses the new fashion trend.
To hold all those electronics which one simply MUST have!
I can't imagine going about with those tiny little bags of several years ago! Pre-electronics? ;-)

More Hockey News

For all hockey fans who wish more news on a season without NHL reports
here is great way to keep up with Houston's team and others.

I am posting it in case my modest efforts are just not enough for my chers readers ;-)!

Plus, of course, the professional photographer's shots ARE stunning. 
And in case you all missed it, even television was there!
How much they actually showed on the nightly news ???
I do not know since we were still getting back home from the game! :-)
Versus my poor efforts with just a "point'n shoot"!

Here Coyle going for the net against Sanguinetti

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Aeros moving forward

You could say so, this afternoon in San Antonio, the team only lost by 1.
And both Aeros goals were scored by the new boyz on the ice.

Per Voice of the Aeros (to whom we listen faithfully when the team plays away) the first goal was by Coyle with assists by Granlund and Zucker.
Now then the second goal was by Zucker with assists by Connelly and Coyle!
Now how sweet is that! A double dose of Zucker surely qualifies for sweet!

Which just shows the new boys have the talent, despite grumblings from fans that the OLD guard should play and the NEW boyz should sit and take notes ;-).

Matt Hackett was in goal versus Markstrom for the Rampage.

BTW... former Aeros Casey Wellman, in case you are interested, got a assist.

Is the 'system' working?
Are the new boyz stepping up?
Are the old guard on guard to guide the newbies?
Only time will tell.

Meanwhile my suggestion is:
sit back, enjoy a game of hockey, watch the new boyz fly across the ice, and  keep wishing.
At least, WE have AHL to watch and entertain us.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Aeros Off to a New Season

with hopefully better results than the loss 3-1 to the Charlotte Checkers tonight in front of a respectable crowd of say 8,000 plus.. and a loudly supportive one it was, too!

Given that the Checkers are almost the same, I believe there are only 4 new guys on their roster, they played exceedingly well, aggressively, and seemingly with no-holds-barred, as the 11 penalties showed quiet well.
Although the Aeros checked in with 8 themselves. One of which
Only the visitor team managed a power play goal their first in the Third, during the Palmieri penalty.

As a matter of fact, two periods passed entertainingly enough without a single goal.
All three goals for the Visitors came in the 3. as did the sole goal (by pure luck) by new boy Brodin with Scandella and MacMillan. Which earned Brodin his first 2. Star. Hackett managed 3. Star and goalie Peters of the Visitors was named the Nr. Star.

Granlund (Nr. 64) seemed almost everywhere, but did not get a goal.
And Larsson (Nr 22) too seemed omnipresent and got bumped into rather heavily-he skated off a bit lopsidedly, but was soon back in the fray.

A sign of what maybe coming down with this new, young and talented new Aeros Team.
Hackett did well, facing 38 SOGs. Peters (Nr.1 Star) only faced 28 but often there was huge crowds around his net!

All in all I felt it was a good game. And interspersed were video clips from the Anniversary DVD-40 Years Hockey in Houston... and to commemorate the boys-on-ice wore retro Blue and White Jerseys...VERY nice!
Mr Hockey way back when he became an Aeros

Flags of pride

Wallace (31) gets the 1. Goal during a  PP on Hackett

If Palmieri had been a puck... it would've been goal Nr. 2 .. sadly he was Palmieri!

The logo beneath its fresh icy sheath

Blue and White Retro Jerseys
A lonely glove rests
Nothing like a melee to end the night-AFTER the buzzer!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

World News

Among other things, here are a few that seem soooo newsworthy, or not?

-Yes - good news.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/mom-arrested-giving-her-11-old-tattoo-194700542.html  - Really?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/neanderthal-sex-modern-humans-interbreeding-africa_n_1942142.html?utm_hp_ref=science - yes, just what I wanted to know!

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/o05/woman-found-with-marijuana-in-genitals-denies/?partner=popular - Oh, come on, really?

http://news.yahoo.com/human-greenhouse-gas-emissions-traced-roman-times-192551162.html -  see it isn't just us!

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bizarre/content/stress-catches-bank-robber-so-he-calls-911-help-police-say - hmmm - crime is not stressless?

http://news.yahoo.com/penis-size-matters-bed-study-finds-153643820.html?_esi=0&ugccmtnav=v1%2Fcomments%2Fcontext%2F56356411-7b03-3139-a125-4679c7397a6a%2Fcomments%3Fcount%3D20%26sortBy%3Doldest  - well what'ya know! Good use of taxpayers $, isn't it?

http://news.yahoo.com/report-imprisoned-dutch-killer-impregnates-girl-090553579.html - immaculate conception - modern style?

- well, a bug is getting 'round!
- but then she is redeemed.
- hope he makes it the next time.

Had enough of this, I hope. 
But wait.
The next debate IS on tonight.

On the other hand there is this :

We are glad she survived.
She just wanted to learn, to study. Wanted to be more than chattel and a birth machine.
So those fanatics shot her.

When will her co-religionists wake up and take a stand.
A  peacefull (???)religion?

And in that vein: some relevant quotes/comments I came across some time ago.

'Pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds].
Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good}Verse(5:13)
Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant}Verse (7:199)
And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah.
Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.Verse (42:40)
No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another Verse (39:7)'

Which means I can’t punish someone for a mistake that he didn’t commit because one of the people that he belong to have committed this mistake & punishment is with the same kind of the mistake they didn’t burn or destroy any thing for the Muslims in order to justify those actions
Please don’t blame Islam b/c of what those ignorants are doing

And here is a rebutal by another commenter:
'Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
 Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”
 Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”
 Qur’an:8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”
 Ishaq:324 “He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.’”
 Qur’an:8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

And that is what bugs me lately!

Anything you like to talk about?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blogger's Nightmare?

Having had weird dreams.
Most remembered only in fragments.
This morning woke drenched in sweat!
And the whole came clear!
And it was not a pretty thing!
Someone, an amorphous, misty someone, keeps threatening horrible punishments IF the blogger (me? others? that was not clear) would express honest opinions. Especially those that seem to run counter to the amorphous blob's thinking.
And so the uglies are coming our of the woodwork to haunt, threaten, scream, to bully!
Big Eyes are ever watching,
Big Ears are ever listening.
Thanks to science ;-) - it will not help to retreat within castles!

Then, volunteer watchers built  pyres on hilltops, and set them alight to warn others, within sight, of incoming perils. And give people time to retreat behind fortified walls of their lieges' castles to wait out alien hordes.
Lower the portcullis! Up barricades! Fill the moat with monsters! Ready tar and pitch!
Circle the wagons! Load the ammo!

Today,  must one stay silent within the walls of one's mind?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


So you thought you knew your Shakespeare?
Knew your Verdi?

Possibly so, but here comes Opera in the Heights' Rossinian Otello.
And it is different. Violently different.
Physically violent. Vocally violent.

Powerful music played superbly under Maestro Carreon-Robledo who enthusiastically sang along most of the time (inaudibly sure - over the power of the orchestra - but you could see his lips move, and his arms, too, of course ;-)!.

And then there were the principal singers.
Each and every one managing the incredible and rather demanding sounds that Rossini composed.

Soprano Jessica E. Jones (familiar to us from Moores School of Music's Il Postino, and earlier, Elmer Gantry) a very persuasive Desdemona singing with feeling and beauty.

Below Caballe with the Willow song

Mezzo Ann Sauder was her servant Emilia, with a burnished rich and yet clear sound.

BUT the tenors surely had "Vorrang" in this Bel Canto Opera.

Eric Barry as Otello was very credible and seemed at ease with the 2 1/2 octaves the role requires.

While Luke Grooms as Rodrigo (a much enlarged role here), also a Tenor, managed the fiendishly high tessitura without too much trouble. And sounded stunning, once one adjusted to this high sound.

The third Tenor (no not Carreras) was Brent Reilly Turner as Iago.
Which one, too, had to get used to, since Verdi's Iago is a baritone!

And the fourth tenor, the small role of the Doge, was adequately presented by Felipe Gonzalez.

The deepest role, written for a bass, was Desdemona's father Elmiro, sung with stentorian authority by Joseph Rawley, a bass-baritone.

Sure there were other deep voices in the chorus: to count 4 basses, 1 baritone, 3 Mezzo sopranos, but also 4 tenors, 5 sopranos, including the versatile Traci Davis, a long time chorus member.

Anyway, IMO, the update to more modern times felt right as Erica Miller, who previously sang the soprano role of Marie (La Fille Du Regiment), and thus quite at home with high C's by tenors, at OH! spread her wings as Director here. After all we daily read about the abuse of women by husbands and fathers, men stabbing men, men killing women, and so on! We do live in a ever more violent world! So an Otello by Rossini directed in this way by Erica Miller felt almost - almost - normal!

There was a moment which tickled my funny bone:
THE (verbal ;-) fight on stage between Rodrigo and Otello - both enamored of Desdemona!
The image created in my mind resembled nothing less than a crowing and clawing cockfight, or harts matching rack against rack like proverbial stags in heat -
ahem-  just kidding of course, but...

Anyway, here is Juan Diego Florez as Rodrigo..

and if you don't agree that this is treacherous high note singing.... you may need to have a hearing test!
Giorgione The Tempest.

And before all that we heard David Brauer, one of our favorite lecturer at MFAH who spoke on what I call  'painted storytelling ;-)' with his usual wit and humorous interpretations of old masters' paintings, and made us laugh out loud often! 
And he will have a second lecture in that vein Oct 26/27!